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2023 February Heartbeat

young boy with treacher collins syndrome hugs his mama in their tiny home

From the Heart

Are you “in the middle?” Unfortunately, many of the children and families we help are. “The middle is fog, exhaustion, loneliness, the daily battle against despair, and the nagging fear that tomorrow will be just like today, only you will be wearier and less able to defend yourself against it,” writes Shauna Niequist. But you provide sweet moments of hope and reprieve through Philip Hayden Foundation. You are providing a safety net, a community, for children and families a world away, stretched to the very breaking point.

China recently altered the “zero-Covid” policy, lifting the burden of lengthy quarantines. But as a result, many communities – including those we serve – have been hit hard by illness. Many families in China gather annually to celebrate the Lunar New Year, so we expect the sickness will continue to spread and may affect caregivers for the children we support. Schools are closed, and therapies are paused because of illness.

Sometimes that brief connection with a therapist in a home visit is a lifeline. What happens when that weekly touchpoint is missing? Illness rates will continue to impact the supply chain and availability of diapers and formula in the rural China communities we serve. But with your help, PHF will continue to provide hope, encouragement, and support through humanitarian aid in these areas.

Growing children need protein, but families living in poverty in the Yucatán typically subsist on a plant-based diet. As a result, there is a daily worry about providing enough healthy food for the children in many of these young families. The delivery of free milk to children and their families looks like hope and respite. Every liter of milk is shared with a human connection, a promise that they are not alone. Philip Hayden Foundation partners with Red de Ciudadanos de Mérida to distribute more than 2000 liters of milk to families monthly. Click here if you would like to help with this project!

Through PHF, you are part of a community providing hope for children experiencing hardships in life. The caregivers and parents of the children we help are astonished and humbled that someone half a world away would offer love and hope. Thank you!

February is Heart Month

February is National Heart Month and Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) awareness month in the United States. But heart disease is not limited to the U.S. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one cause of death, killing over 17 million people yearly. Ischemic heart disease, heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries, causes less blood and oxygen to reach the heart muscle, ultimately leading to a heart attack. A heart attack is caused by when the blood flow to a portion of the heart is completely blocked. As a result, that section of the heart muscle begins to die. Once considered a disease for older people, heart disease affects people of all ages. Both genetics and lifestyle contribute to heart disease. In addition, many children are born with congenital heart defects.

Dominique was born in 2018 in the Henan Province with a congenital heart disease (CHD). Right now, Dominique is being cared for in a Healing Home in China. Unfortunately, CHD affects nearly 1% of births per year worldwide. Thankfully, treatments and care have developed over time. We have seen how doctors can change lives, and we hope Dominique is one of those. Your donations are providing for some of their medical needs. Your donations through PHF have helped many children with CHD receive life-saving surgeries over the past two decades, including Maggie, Shawn, Aubrey, and Flynn.

In Mexico, Philip Hayden Foundation has partnered with Red de Ciudadanos de Mérida to provide local free medical clinics where health professionals can evaluate heart disease. Participants living in poverty also receive information on lifestyle changes to prolong life. Children in this community often live in extreme poverty, and the loss of a parent topples an already precarious life. Access to medical care provides a safety net for precious children, keeping families together. To encourage participation, PHF provides a free snack or meal for every person attending. The participants engage in a warm, welcoming community event.

Thank you for supporting vulnerable children through Philip Hayden Foundation’s medical fund.

Rosalia and Fatima

Meet Fátima Natalia, who is 14 years old. Doctors discovered a large, malignant tumor in her brain two years ago. Fátima had been in high school, full of life. But not too long ago, doctors were able to remove the tumor. Unfortunately, this surgery left her with profoundly limited hearing, loss of vision in one eye, and paralysis, requiring a wheelchair. Sadly, the tumor grew again. Finally, a few short days before Christmas, her doctor took her out of the hospital and sent her home to spend her last days. Read more about Fátima and her sister, Rosalía in our Stories of Hope.

February is Rare Disease Month

Matías has a genetic disorder, Treacher Collins syndrome and is representing Rare Disease Awareness month. Last November, we introduced 8-year-old Matías to you. Your donations provided travel expenses for him and his mama to travel to Guadalajara to meet with a surgical specialist.

Matías is currently in Mexico City for a complex life-saving surgery. He will be in the hospital for recovery for about 25 days. Read more about Matías in our Stories of Hope.

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